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Light From a Dark Lord 02: : On the Shore of the Great River

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Chapter 2: On the Shore of the Great River

When Tak had said to meet him at a camp, I had expected something more than a single tent with a guttering fire in front of it. I guess a camp is a camp. And I guess we should be a bit careful with assumptions.

Or maybe it’s just me.

The province we were in, Lunaventum, seemed a nice place, even in the dead of night. What with all the trees and fields and such. There were farms. I mean, not along the river, but in the area. I had seen a few since arriving in the province, but I think more than a few were abandoned. A lot of the space was empty. That didn’t make a lot of sense because since this land was pretty much free for anyone from the Great Kingdom. It had been a hundred years since the Downfall, but I think people were still afraid of the Terror Lands. I mean, they still called them the Terror Lands.

The royal steward resided in Lunaventum, further south than Tak’s camp or Bailthair by about a day. He had a thousand cavalry and triple that in infantry. That should have made anyone feel safe. But with the war over for a century, and the province ‘pacified,’ people just didn’t come.

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A Bloody Crown: Chapter 03

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Working cover for the novel A Bloody Crown: a castle wall in darkness

The Cyclops Banner: A Bloody Crown available now as an e-book.

You can find chapter 2 here.

Chapter 3: The Month of the Sparrow, Wegeresday the Twenty-seventh.

Aubrien Port in the Belgdstaet Unity

He wanted to stay in Taulmeer, at the company’s camp. That was his home. The company was his home. But when Cristobel returned from Aneros, he had told Alec to reach out to their contacts in Aubrien and find out what kind of transport was available. The contract wasn’t certain. Cristobel needed seals on it and he needed the coin from the last contract. He didn’t believe it would happen, but the company needed to be ready. And it needed trustworthy ships to get them across the Small Sea.

That made Alec wonder. Travel to most parts of the East Kingdoms would be on the roads. The only possible destination—outside the Fist—would be the Empire. The Empire was always at war, but mostly with itself. Could they be heading to the Empire? That didn’t make sense. Taulmeer had accepted peace with Surraev because it didn’t have the money to keep fighting. Would the king take further loans to campaign in the Empire?

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A Bloody Crown: Chapter 02

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The Cyclops Banner: A Bloody Crown available now as an e-book.

You can find Chapter 01 here.

Chapter 2: The Month of the Sparrow, Ferisday the Twenty-Second.

Kaessekros on the Red Isles in Kellalh

Working cover for the novel A Bloody Crown: a castle wall in darkness

Rhona Trevean pinched the bridge of her nose. They had buried her father that day in a secret ceremony. He had long stood against Surraev, claiming to fight for a Kellei crown which no longer existed. She sat watching the Small Sea, to the west. The last rays of the sinking sun reached out, rising from the horizon, touching the sea over which lay Taulmeer and Kadetera. That was where most of the smugglers that sheltered in Kaessekros sold their goods.

The smugglers sheltered in Kaessekros because no crown could touch it. Fifteen years after the rest of Kellalh fell to it, Surraev still could not conquer the barony. In her heart, she knew that was because they had not tried. Not really. The Old Baron, her father—Argus Trevean—had a fleet of fast ships manned by fearless crews who knew how to fight on the water. Surraev had knights and cannons, and could crush most forces on land. At sea? That, they had not mastered. Her galleys protected the Red Isles on the sea, and on land, Selcost nestled in the Shieldlands—rocky hills and mountains cut through with rivers and glens but no real roads or open fields on which to array one’s cavalry or set up one’s cannons.

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Light From A Dark Lord 01: Right Place, Wrong Place

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I’m once again here posting my longform fiction. This time, it’s not from a completed work, but from my primary work-in-progress. I find it useful to have different WIPs with different voices as a kind of palate cleanser, and also because I generally have too many ideas banging around in my head.

This will not be presented as an e-book or in print any time soon. I’ve got to finish it first.

Temp novel cover: person with lantern in barren wood with dying trees and ash falling. "Light From A Dark Lord. A Novel by Fraser Ronald."

Anyway, I hope you enjoy.

Chapter 1: Right Place, Wrong Place

I’ve been told it was my mother who named me Magastoris Algorist. Everyone just calls me Max. Though I found myself in a province on the outskirts of the Great Kingdom, that’s not where I was from. Not that it mattered. I wasn’t really from anywhere. There had been places I had lived, places I knew well, and places I might have even liked. I wouldn’t have called any of them home. I just didn’t have one.

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